Saturday, June 19, 2010

Week 4 Update

I'll warn you now, I have a lot to talk about today! Verbal diarrhea as my mother would say.

I can’t tell you how freeing my new way of chic eating is. It’s totally different to how I felt before. When I thought WW points were the only way to get slimmer and I would sometimes (often) decide to ‘not count points that day’ sort of like a day off work, I would eat everything in sight. And preferably bad stuff. Then I would feel sick, bloated and start on points the next day. Yeah, that’s a fun way to live life.

I have used WW points successfully in the past but maybe I focused on dieting too much. Would it be too much to ask that I become gradually and noticeably slimmer while going about my life and enjoying it, no thought required?

If we were asked to join friends for dinner and I was having a ‘strict points week’ I would be stricken with the fear of not being able to stick to 18 or 20 points for the day. Then I would decide, oh well, I’ll have a day off points if dinner won’t fit in, and then... eat everything in sight - crappy food. A day off points never means salad for lunch. Or even worse would have gone to dinner proclaiming, I can’t have that, I’m dieting. I don’t think those words passed my lips, I just dove in.

Of course this week I haven’t eaten chicly 100% of the time. And that’s OK. At the end of Anne Barone’s Techniques book she says it’s a trap to try and change everything at once. You will fail and then do none of it. Better to change one thing at a time. So I’ve decided my first change is adding more salads and fresh food. I’m reshaping lunchtime. Breakfast time is already good, dinner is too.

Here are Anne’s words:

‘I believe the key to permanent positive change is a gradual approach. Try to change too many eating and lifestyle habits at once, your mind and body will revolt. (That is one reason traditional ‘diets’ fail.) A gradual approach will also allow your friends and family to adjust to the ‘new you’.

Yesterday I did something that worked out quite well. After work I always look for something to nibble on before dinner, as well as something relaxing to drink. Knowing the energy from the snacks is held onto by the body while the body uses the alcohol energy to go on I decided to take my cheese and crackers into work. About an hour before I left work I had ten rice crackers (my favourite cracker type, from Weight Watcher days) with ten thin slices of Edam cheese. I wasn’t hungry after work and had a glass of chilled Chardonnay before dinner and no snacks. No snacks, I say!

And I’ve discovered I am so enamoured with vegetables now. When you’re eating faux foods, the bright colouring and artificial flavours make real food taste dull by comparison. It’s slow to turn around (I’m just getting there at the moment) but now I crave the jewel tones of lettuce and celery green, capsicum yellow, red and green, brights whites of garlic and onion, ruby red of tomato, the brilliant orange of carrots and rustic brown of the potato. Whereas before a bag of brightly coloured sweets would excite me now the raw vegetables I am preparing do.

It’s only by doing the hard yards of turning away from the food that has comforted me for a long time that I can fully and truly appreciate real food.

Something that has surprised me – I have always had time to freshly prepare a salad for lunch. Funny that. I initially thought I would have to do a couple at a time the night before. Now it’s a priority not just a thing I should do. Sometimes I don’t get to eat it until 2.30pm if we’re busy in the shop, but I still prepare it and enjoy it.

I used to think of salads as boring and a waste of time, but now I understand they have wet, crunchy fibre, phytonutrients and lots of goodness. When I’m parched at lunchtime a cool and crispy salad quenches my thirst. I really am starting to crave them! And you can’t crave them first, you have to eat them every day (or most days in my case) and then you’ll find you look forward to them. And if you’re eating a salad you’re not eating something else.

I bought a treat lunch yesterday. It wasn’t treat lunch in the baked potato with sour cream from Wendys way though. It was from a cafe around the corner where I bought a coffee for my husband and I in the morning. They have filled artisan bread rolls and I spied one with cress and a tuna/caper/red onion mayonnaise filling. It looked so divine I bought it for my lunch and put it in the fridge. At lunchtime I prepared a salad and ate the roll and then my salad. There just wasn’t enough green in the roll for it to be a complete lunch!

I have also resumed my two brazil nuts a day habit. In the country I live in, our soil is selenium deficient. I have taken selenium supplements in the past, but then found out that two brazil nuts each day provide the recommended daily dose of selenium. I would much rather a couple of yummy nuts than swallow a white pill.

I haven’t even thought about weighing myself daily/weekly like I used to, but I have noticed I am becoming a little skinnier this week and that my main stomach roll is a touch smaller. Small mercies!

I’ve been for three walks also, so that would have helped with my being a bit more svelte. Because my husband and I run our own small business together, we are both able to do our exercise during the day. He goes to the gym, I go walking. I used to go to the gym but I dislike it with a passion. This week rather than put on my exercise clothing and go for an exercise walk, I had my normal clothes (jeans) on and just changed into walking shoes.

One day I went to the post office, bank and supermarket for a couple of things with a tote bag. It was about an hours worth of walking and I got to pop into interesting shops along the way for a browse. The other two days I visited someone in hospital. The hospital is about half an hour walking each way so that worked out perfectly too. It was quite cold so I had my French trenchcoat on, beret, scarf. I just put my phone and sunglasses in my trenchcoat pocket. I felt very Francais walking through the city. It’s far more enjoyable doing errands and walking than power-walking in exercise clothes!


  1. I'm going to just sit and absorb this for a while before fully responding. What you've said is so magnificent and motivating and I'm so happy for you!

  2. Hi! I just found your blog through C'est Si Bon and I read your latest post. My go-to diet has been low-carb and, if you follow it religiously, it works! But life is too short to not eat croissants once in awhile and beautiful fresh fruit in the summer. I have been trying to modify my behavior towards food instead. I just read an eye-opening book called "Mindless Eating" I forget the author's name - I had it on loan from the library and liked it so much I just ordered a copy yesterday so I can refer to it again and again. It sounds like it is right in line with Anne Barone's ideas.
    Good Luck!

  3. I just re-read your post and I think this is so interesting. "It’s only by doing the hard yards of turning away from the food that has comforted me for a long time that I can fully and truly appreciate real food." That's do it and it becomes natural to you. It's a conscious choice that just becomes what you do naturally over time. And it didn't take you long at all really. Bravo!

  4. Thank you Stephanie. You are a sweetheart. It's funny, I have only realised truths like the quote you used when I wrote about them. The brain is a complex and wonderful thing.

    Adrienne, welcome. I agree, croissants are worth it (in moderation of course) and fruit is definitely a must-have. I like the sound of the book. Thanks for the info.


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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